Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Are Black Men & Black Males (Of All Ages) Engaged In A Civil War?

July 28, 2021 by  
Filed under Ent., Health, Music, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( On January 15, 1991, famed rap group Gang Starr released their legendary album, Step in the Arena. It is no overstatement to say that Guru and DJ Premier’s contribution to Hip-Hop culture still reverberates at the present moment. Some music outlets went so far as to call the album “the greatest Hip-Hop album of all time.”

For our purposes, the most memorable song on this classic recording is titled Just to Get a Rep; Guru draws mental pictures of individuals seeking to gain a street reputation through various criminal activities and underhanded means.

After watching one of the most vicious yet deserved whippings in recent memory, this particular song came to mind. At a Memphis, Tennessee, mall, cell phone footage captured a pair of young African-American males harassing a self-described “grown-ass man.” As the video unfolds, the “grown-ass man” attempts to ignore continuing harassment from an African-American male who repeatedly informs all within hearing distance that he is “Piru,” a statement highlighting his gang affiliation. This Black male also notifies everyone of his intention to get a rep by beating down the “grown-ass man.”


This Black youth soon learned that it is unwise to push a “grown-ass man” past a certain point. As shown in the video footage, the lesson doled out by the “grown-ass man” onto this lost young African-American male was, in a word, epic.

After viewing the bountiful amounts of “act right” delivered to this youngster, my mind wondered what does it mean when Black youth challenge men who traditionally would have served as their mentors as they attempted to reach manhood status. The video offers a most unfortunate downward spiral of the relationships between “grown-ass men” and the youngsters who aspire to take their place. Unbeknownst to far too many rudderless Black males, the roadmap they are using to arrive at manhood is warped, illogical, and non-sensical. In many ways, this young man and thousands of others have no idea how to make the enormous leap from being a Black male to becoming a Black man; trust me when I say that I know far too many retirees who never made this transition. Unbeknownst to so many of my race, being a male and a man are two very different things.

Anyone with even a passing interest in saving Black males from the snares and traps that capture so many of them daily must ask themselves the following question. Where do these young Black males learn life philosophies and behaviors that serve neither them nor their community in the short or long term? One does not need to search far to find Black men who can attest to some form of intensely negative interaction with Black males of varying ages who believe that hyper-aggressiveness, disorderly conduct, and promiscuity are synonymous with manhood.

In this space, I have frequently mentioned a civil war occurring among different classes of Blacks. I must amend that statement. We must settle a dormant conflict between Black men and Black males before Black America can move forward. Of course, those Black males who are little more than irresponsible boys in adult bodies belong to the latter group.

While most of my counterparts eagerly rush forward to chastise Black women who refuse to take the necessary actions to regulate the behaviors of Black girls in adult bodies, they rarely address Black males. Many of them are willing participants in behavior that sits at the core of Black dysfunctionality. This hypocrisy guarantees that succeeding generations will be socialized to continue one of Black America’s most unfortunate traditions, hyper-masculinity, and disorderly conduct from Black males toward all that they encounter. At the present moment, it is difficult to argue against the assertion that for far too many Black males, the more vicious the behavior, the better.

I will tell you the truth. A part of me cringes at the sight of Black men beating down Black males, as recorded in the video mentioned above. However, a weary part of me viewed the corrective action that the “grown-ass man” in the footage handed out to the young Black male as a necessary evil to bring back some semblance of decency to Black America. We used to term such conflict as a person receiving “some act right.”

In the end, I guess that we can excuse the doling out of some “act right” because desperate times require desperate measures. And these are certainly desperate times.

Staff Writer; Dr. James Thomas Jones III

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One may also connect with this brother via TwitterDrJamestJones.

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